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This week the Lancet pays a lot of attention to maternal and child health. In an editorial the journal argues that gender equity is the key to maternal and child health. Good to keep in mind now that the world is gearing up for many MCH related summits. Yesterday, in the run-up to the Canada G8 and G20 events, David Cameron had a chat with Harper on the maternal mortality issue. He wants a G8 target of saving three million more lives by 2015.
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And some people at the WHO probably need a strong cup of coffee this morning. BMJ reports on the investigation done jointly by the journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Their conclusion? “Scientists advising the World Health Organisation on pandemic flu planning did paid work for pharmaceutical firms who stood to gain from the guidance these scientists were preparing”. Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editor in chief says it’s now up to WHO to restore its credibility. If not, a ‘flu gate’ could haunt the global health community for years.
Enjoy your reading.
Maternal Neonatal and Child survival
1. Lancet – The continuing invisibility of women and children
Richard Horton; Full Text
Horton says that in spite of the undeniable recent momentum towards maternal and children’s health, women and children still largely remain invisible. He sees ten reasons for this situation.
2. Lancet – Momentum, mandates, and money: achieving health MDGs
Ann Starrs, Rotimi Sankore; Full Text
Starrs and Sankore give a nice overview of the current funding situation for MNCH and the different proposals that are being launched. They argue for a global funding mechanism of which the mandate would specifically include reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.
3. Lancet – New modelled estimates of maternal mortality
Wendy J Graham, David A Braunholtz, Oona MR Campbell; Fulltext
Chris Murray’s reply; Full Text
As expected, the new maternal mortality data spark a lot of debate. This week, The Lancet features a number of reactions to the updated figures. We selected the one by Graham et al., who was involved in the peer review, and the authors’ reply (by
4. Lancet – Issue attention in global health: the case of newborn survival
Jeremy Shiffman; Full Text
In a fascinating account, Shiffman shows how newborn survival has attracted global attention over the last decade. No doubt, global health advocates can learn a lot from this viewpoint.
5. KFF –
Willing To Spend $1B On G8 Maternal, Child Health Initiative Canada
6. World Economic Forum – discussion paper Piot et al. – on a new paradigm to ensure health for all
Peter Piot, David E. Bloom and Peter C. Smith; http://www.weforum.org/pdf/grs2010/report/6-Health-for-All.pdf
At the World Economic Forum in
7. WHO Bulletin – Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems: what next?
Mc Coy & Brikci; http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/6/09-074419.pdf
In the WHO Bulletin, Mc Coy and Brikci do not exactly mince words when commenting on the taskforce for innovative financing for health systems. They also propose further actions for the international health community. In the same Bulletin issue, Fryatt and Mills are a lot more positive about the achievements of the Taskforce.
8. BMJ A moment of truth for global health
Richard Feachem, Gavin Yamey, Christina Schrade; http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/340/jun03_3/c2869
A BMJ editorial rightly assesses the current funding situation as one where the ‘golden window’ for global health has gone. Feachem et al. argue for a cross-cutting approach to meet the challenges of the global financial crisis, instead of the – probably more likely – silo advocacy approach.
9. IIGG – Challenges of global health governance
In a working paper (545K PDF), Fidler sketches the challenges of global health governance and what the
10. Lancet – Sharing public health data: necessary and now
The Lancet; Full Text
A Lancet editorial pleads for more data sharing in public health, but also points out that’s only part of the story. Researchers in low-income and middle-come countries typically face many predicaments.
11. ODI Briefing Papers 60 – Economic growth and the MDGs
Claire Melamed, Kate Higgins and Andy Sumner;
Lots of news on the MDG front this week. An ODI briefing paper points out that growth is important for the MDGs, but governments should focus on how the benefits are distributed. Distribution is the key mechanism to translate growth into MDG progress.
On his blog, Easterly reckons
In a Global Policy article, Todd Moss admits that the MDGs have their pluses (for example in terms of fundraising, or to focus the development community on outcomes), but also thinks they have a number of weaknesses. He suggests several ways to fix them.
And finally, Jeffrey Sachs thinks the past decade has shown that extreme poverty can be eliminated. Upbeat as ever, he reckons the MDGs could still be the decisive organizing principle for ending extreme poverty in our time, in a Scientific American opinion piece.
Innovations in health
12. WHO Bulletin – Linking health to microfinance to reduce poverty
Leatherman and Dunford show some potential links between microfinance and health. Microfinance institutions could also deliver health-related services, and already do so in some settings.
Other innovative ideas emerged at an IDS meeting in
13. The Price of a Cure? How Big Pharma Can Help Poverty-stricken Populations
In a recent presentation, Thomas Pogge outlined again his by now well-known market-based proposal, the Health Impact Fund (see IHPnews#56-7). The plan creates a structure of incentive payments to drug companies based on the impact a medicine actually has on global health outcomes.